A Few Ideas Toward Living The More Inspired Life

What do you need to start doing today to be living your more inspired life?

Do you need to take a break and listen to the birds or move that body or visit with friends? Do you need to focus more on a project, hobby, or passion? Do you need a fresh slant on an old idea, behaviour, attitude? Do you need to stop procrastinating and start investigating, resuscitating, reanimating your world?

One thing’s for sure: you must stop asking questions like: why does this keep happening to me? why can’t I get ahead/get moving/get inspired? Those questions plop you into the victim mentality hole.

The next thing’s for sure, too: you must rather ask: now that this {name it} is happening, and it makes me feel {name it}, what’s one small thing I can do today to shift, to lift, to move this into a better feeling or outlook or action? Knowing I feel stuck, where can I put my attention to help me get unstuck?

You might not get an answer right away. It’s ok. Keep asking the good questions, the enriching questions, the empowered questions. The questions will lead you to where you need to be for inspiration to fill you up. The questions invite the inspired life, the inspired choice, the inspired action.

And look around, in your head, in your heart, in your world. Listen. Wake up to your senses. Smell those roses. Touch that leaf. Taste that lemon, that basil, that chocolate mocha latté. Set an intention to make one sense your pathway of ritual engagement with your life today.

Notice beauty, innocence, simple acts of genuine humanity. Rub that aching knee with warmth and affection. Smile at that stranger, that child. Give a dollar to a street person. Mow a sick neighbour’s lawn.

Be kind. Be encouraging. Be grateful. Thank your modest income for being there to pay that bill. Thank your huge income for being there to serve a greater cause than ego’s illusory sense of security. Thank the wonky weather systems for reminding you to walk lightly on the Earth. Thank a cranky person for the opportunity to empathize and give hope. Thank your anxiousness for telling you to set a healthy boundary. Thank your depression for the wake up call. Thank a despot for reminding you to engage more fully in sage and savvy social change actions.

Everything comes as a result of something before and everything comes as a guide to something more. We can’t change what went before. We can acknowledge the past and imagine a better future. We can learn, use our old cramps of conditioning as guidance, and lean into what needs to happen now to make the next step more empowered, enriching, liberating. We can—however deeply tucked away that knowing is—live daily toward the more inspired life our hearts know is possible.

Beautiful Rowdy Prisoners


Knowingly or not, most of us build cages to put people and things in. Cages of judgement, cages of resentment, cages of gossip or comparison.

Often, the motivation is to keep ourselves feeling safe. The result is keeping ourselves small. The small feel safer or bigger by making the other feel smaller.

We might feel justified in building cages for others if that other is abusive, negative, or taxing in some way. Even a minor downer person at work, school, or in our friend group can nudge our inner jailer into action.

But we cage the best in others, too. Even admiration can be a cage if the admired isn’t allowed wiggle room for their life-giving flaws.

And most importantly we cage our own better halves, our unloved parts of self, including: our precious and rowdy passions, our curious creativities, our unlimiting ideas, our bigger self that lives outside the lines of collective habit. And then we conveniently forget how the cage got there or that it’s there at all, and we may blame someone or something else for our small life.

Who is this small person who builds cages of definition, limitation, judgement, prejudice? We know it today as that old bugaboo ego.

Ego is our protective self-identity. It’s the nervous system’s psychological comrade that grew out of repetitions of experience and grew into our cramp of conditioning.

The prison is in ourselves. And so is the key.

The jailer is in ourselves. And so is the liberator who drops the keys.

What are the keys this sageful self drops for the beautiful rowdy prisoners of a limiting idea of self? Praise, appreciation, encouragement, compassion; invitations to partnership, play, reverent mischief; an empathic nod, a supportive smile, an outright ooopsy daisy of chuckling truth. Anything that inspires and empowers the caged one is a liberating key.

A savvy survival sizzle is not about attacking the jailers. The Sage sidesteps that whole bamboozlement of opposition and conflict. He soft-shoes into the liberating rhythms of creative disruption that melt the cramp of conditioning. She jitterbugs through the narrowing norm with an effortless ingenuity.

But during her magnanimous rollick through the jails of conditioning, the Sage merely drops the keys. Picking up the key and stepping free is the choice we are each given as the Sage whispers to the beautiful, rowdy prisoners: Follow me.

SOME KEYS OF LIBERATING DISRUPTION

Breathe intentionally.

  • The breath is the key to what the mindfulness teachings call The Pause. The breath is intimately connected with the nervous systems. It’s one of the autonomic processes that we can take charge of to a very great advantage. Intentional breathing tones down the fight-flight-freeze stress reaction and tones up the rest-and-reflect relaxation response. The intentional breath is an essential key of liberation from internal and external conflict. The aware breath opens The Pause, the space in which we can bring a better perspective to the moment. In The Pause we can reflect and make use of other keys. In The Pause we can touch The Infinite.

Three game changing questions: Before saying, texting, blogging, posting our opinion, ask ourselves:

  • Does this inspire and empower?
  • Is this who I want to be and be seen as?
  • Does this come from my desire to be kind or my need to be right?

Share the Wealth.

  • Sharing our wealth of knowledge or know-how isn’t about telling people to do it this way, that way, my way. It’s about offering our best stuff to the need at hand. It’s about giving away our hard won treasures of deft alignment with success for the benefit of enhancing another’s success.

Replace competition with co-operation.

  • Competition comes from fears of: losing out, lack, insecurity. Co-operation, community, compassion come from the understanding that unity and equality liberate our gifts, talents, strengths as well as those of others.

Frequently spend time in Nature.

  • Open yourself to a sensory and mindful appreciation of Nature’s wildish wherewithal of wonderment.
  • Cultivate biophilia. Bio means life. Philia means love. Biophilia is a love of all lifeforms. Biophilia leads to good feeling and better health.
  • Practice shinrin yoku, which means forest bathing in Japanese. Forests, plants, and the bacteria that live on them give off phytoncides, essential oils that protect from harmful microorganisms. Walking among trees and other plants drenches us in health giving life essences. And more: In forests the negative ion emissions are high. Negative ions latch on to airborne contaminants and weigh them to the ground, liberating the air we breathe from harmful germs, pollens, allergens.

 

 

 

 

 

The Grit & Gumption Of Your Fearless Awesome Courage big blog

Everyone has a gorgeous perilous mission. The details change from person to person, perhaps from life stage to life stage. The magnitude of the mission is large for some and small for others. But the principle of the mission stays the same.

We are each here to redeem our deep driving desire from its prison or slumber and fulfill our personal destiny within the collective destiny of our times. We are here to be, as fully as possible, the channel for our singular purpose to arrive in the world. We are here to unleash a fearless awesome courage into the world.

LIBERATING DESIRE FROM THE CRAMP OF CONDITIONING

Why do I call it a fearless awesome courage?

One reason is that, for most of us, our deep driving desire got lost beneath layers of experience. Unearthing our desire can require an exceptional courage of us.

The magnificent evolutionary efficiency of our nervous system shaped itself in, through, and from this world of experience, a world filled with danger and safety. The nervous system evolved to shrink from pain and reach for pleasure.

These layers of experience become our cramp of conditioning—the learned habits of limiting memory and rote behaviour that keep us in the same-old-same-old. These habits very often keep us from daring the difference that our unique and singular destiny calls for.

Our cramp of conditioning is also mostly invisible. I say mostly because we can’t see a belief; we can’t touch a memory; we can’t eat a perception of any kind, limiting or unlimiting—at least not physically.

But we can see the effects of conditioning. The effects unfold as our typical reactions and behaviours, preferences and abhorrences.

To liberate our deep driving desire we have to dare our conditioning that holds guard at the gates of memory. Like any great heroine or hero, we have to dare the underworld, the place where lost things go, where forgotten things lie, where the treasure of our true destiny waits to be freed.

And old habits die hard. Our entire ego identity and sense of belonging cling to these old patterns of conditioned memory. It’s a big deal. A belief is a little thing wielding a huge heft of power.

After we dare the underworld of our subconscious, then we have to dare the world.

DARING THE WORLD

The world we must dare includes: the convictions others have around who and what we’re supposed to be; the insistence the collective conditioning has around how we’re supposed to fit in and do our duty to maintain the status quo; the hard line group mind has around keeping everything as is.

And dare we must if we are to redeem our own true authentic self from conformity. Dare we must if we are to protect and liberate the good, the right, the perfection in ourselves and in the world.

You may feel called to rescue abused animals or help relieve world hunger. You may be called to release yourself from an addiction. You may be called to be the strong light in your family or neighbourhood that brings hope to despair, joy to sadness, a helping hand to a disabled neighbour, a shovel to a tree planting event.

No matter who we are each of us is called upon to protect beauty, truth, innocence, and trust in whatever form those appear in our worlds—both inner and outer. And many are the forces against us—from within and from without. An old shame habit can keep us down. An old worry, such as what others might think, can keep us stuck in deep unhappiness. An old taboo can keep us small. A military occupation can throw the mind into terror.

But what’s the alternative to playing safe? Does dying with your music still in you appeal to you? Does living with an unlived story inside you appeal to you?

THE CHALLENGE OF GRIT & GUMPTION

Your gorgeous perilous mission calls upon you to challenge your habitual fears, make fear your ally, and lift that wildly singular burning desire into your living flow. Big or small; visibly on a world scale or invisibly in the inner arena where you wrestle for your soul—your gorgeous perilous mission is as important as anyone’s.

What’s stopping you from beginning? Fear of some kind? Well, take a deep breath, take heart, and take a step. That step not only calls for a fearless awesome courage, but calls upon the fearless awesome courage to arise. That step evokes it from its prison or slumber, wakes it up to the dire cue of the moment, ignites the grit and gumption needed to carry through.

When a fearless awesome courage allies with a gorgeous dangerous mission you get a golden opportunity.

As soon as you take that step, the path of radiant attraction begins to open. As soon as you begin the challenge, courage begins to muster. Your gorgeous perilous mission attracts the allies it needs to liberate your joy. And a primary ally is the fearless awesome courage that lives within you, within each of us, awaiting ignition.

 

Your Gorgeous Perilous Mission Big Blog

When is fear a friend and when is fear a foe?

Your gorgeous perilous mission in this life is to find out.

Loon Canoe, the exquisite 100 year old 16-foot Peterborough cedar strip canoe with extended prows, and veteran of many gorgeous perilous missions, taught me much about my own depth and purpose–and about making fear an ally.

Everyone experiences physical, psychological, and spiritual dangers in this life. The smallest thing can be a mortal danger if we let fear take us down; the smallest threat can be crippling to body, mind, or spirit.

An angry fist in the face, a sarcasm dart to the heart, a tornado across the field, a bomb blowing up your car—these call up fear as an appropriate first reaction.

THE EVOLUTIONARY GENIUS OF OUR NERVOUS SYSTEM

We have two primary levels of nervous system functioning: instinctual and learned. Fear is part instinctual and part learned. We’re designed to fight, flee, or freeze to protect this mortal coil from threats to life or wellbeing, or to protect what we love.

The evolutionary genius of our nervous system does some complex things with experience. It stores information for future reference; we call that memory. It reads current environmental factors lightening fast, compares the current situation to the stored information, and alerts the subconscious as to what to do according to fresh current need or according to our past conditioned memory data.

And mostly we’re not thinking consciously about any of it. The slick and savvy genius of our nervous system allows us to live a multi-layered life. We don’t have to learn everything anew each moment. But at the same time, we are governed by the stored memory of experience–our cramp of conditioning. Some of these memories store learned fear and learned reactivity.

A lot of situations call up fear. And a lot of these situations call up a really good reason to pay attention to fear, listen to its message, and act.

So fleeing a tidal wave or a falling tree is always a good plan. But we’re not born with a fear of water or trees. Our specific fears are a result of conditioning.

A traumatic accident like almost drowning, witnessing a drowning, losing a loved one to a falling tree; any violent event like an intimidating physical or psychological assault; or repeated low dose neurotic conditioning, like consistent sarcastic assaults to our sense of self over time get stored as those dangerous frightening memories. These set our fear-based reactivity on perpetual unconscious alert for similar events.

ATTACHMENT TO FEAR MEMORIES

Our subconscious alert system attaches old memory to a present situation of similar emotional and sensory influence. And it’s this attachment glue that keeps us reacting—and perhaps reacting in unhelpful ways. Our learned reactive patterns have become conditioned memory, too.

One of our innate as well as learned reactive patterns is to fight fear. But attachment to fighting fear increases fear’s power rather than decreases it. What we resist persists. What we emphasize amplifies.

And fighting fear is both overt and covert, obvious and hidden.

Direct attacks on our fears and fear reactivity, such as arguing with it or levelling ineffective affirmations at it along the lines of, I shall fear nothing today!, have the opposite effect of giving fear more power. Your subconscious knows when you’re pulling the wool over your own eyes. Shouting at a tidal wave does nothing to stop the tidal wave. Hamlet knew that taking arms against a sea of troubles does nothing to relieve troubles.

Analyzing, questioning, or ruminating also consolidates the old fear pattern and usually amps up the reactivity. Why, why, why does this keep happening? Why can’t I do this? Why am I the only one like this? Why am I such a weakling, scaredy cat, wuss? These can be the longest suffering series of questions you ask in life. These questions perpetuate the reactivity.

Avoidance or denial, such as putting on a happy face; squashing, stuffing, saccharinizing, puts you in more danger. Turning your back on a big wave and pretending it isn’t there puts you at risk of being rolled up into it and drowned. But what about the wave coming up from the ocean of issues stored in the subconscious? How often do we turn our backs on that one–and get unequivocally swamped?

THE DOLOROUS BLOW

The Dolorous Blow in Arthurian legend is the wound that maims The Fisher King, leaving him and his land impotent. We could say The King’s vibrational frequency plummets into energetic deficiency.

In myth, the king of queen can be symbolic of a governing principle in our selves and the land a reflection of the psychic wholeness of the king or queen. In The Grail legends, the entire kingdom is dependent on The King’s health, on his energy. In life, it’s really the same.

Our inner life out-pictures, to use Neville Goddard’s phrase, into our lifescape, shaping the worlds of our personal reality and our collective reality. Our governing energetic resonance influences the kinds of events attracted ito our lives. A dolorous blow to our life can rock our trust, hope, curiosity, playfulness, joy.

Nearly drowning or being involved in a near or tragic drowning, losing a limb, developing a life threatening disease, can be the incidents that Arthurian legend calls The Dolorous Blow.

Consistent sarcastic assaults to our sense of self over time or direct hits to the soft animal of the body, as Mary Oliver describes our sweet ally of carriage through this life, are dolorous blows. These can leave us psychospiritually paralyzed with learned fear, lay waste to our inner land of psychic wholeness, and often be reflected in the crippling outer circumstances of our lives.

Any event that imprints a heavy fear, grief, despair, anger–you get it–can be The Dolorous Blow.

Clinical psychology calls The Dolorous Blow a trauma event and its repercussions post trauma symptoms.

I have found in 60 years of life in my own gorgeous perilous missions, and 20 years of clinical counselling practice that diagnostic labels can severely limit a person’s recovery. People get really attached to labels like mental illness, terminal illness, inoperable codition, toxic people, toxic situations. These labels sound like life sentences. These labels can suck the life energy our of a person recovering from the dolorous blows of life.

I much prefer the lingua mythica of the heroic journey. A mythopoetic language liberates soul into the healing process. The Grail Cycle of stories is one such healing language.

The language of the heroic journey gives us magical allies, the animal friend, words of power, opuscules of opportunity, hope swings across impossible odds, timely meetings, divine encounters, the chance to recover a fearless awesome courage, the jewel of wisdom in the Underworld, redemption of self and community and land.

Healing trauma, healing false limits to our soul’s life, healing The Dolorous Blow is our gorgeous perilous mission.

Warrior training teaches that you take your fear, breathe it intensely into a ball of fire in your belly, and use it like an archer uses a bow: to aim the gorgeous perilous mission of the moment and propel your fearless awesome courage towards the bull’s eye of necessary action.

Warrior training teaches that you manage your fear, detach from habituated reactivity, and ride the psychological wave to safe harbour. And that is a deep practice of focus and non-attachment.

My beloved painted paddlemaking teacher, who gave Loon Canoe her magnetized skin of mythopoetic power and me such loony latinate phrases as lingua mythica, taught me much about facing my fears. He taught me that The Sacred Psychologies–his term for the perennial wisdom traditions–don’t see fear as the problem. Attachment to fear is the problem.

Our instinctual emotion is ok. Instinctual fear is ok. It serves a purpose. It tells us danger is afoot. It sends powerful chemical warriors and scintillating electromagnetic weapons through our bodies, allies of immense energetic oomph unleashed for our instant strength.

Attachment to fear and attachment to fear based reactivity–such as panic–is the culprit. Getting unhooked from fear’s grappling irons is part of the gorgeous perilous mission.

Our times call for each of us to unhook from learned patterns of fear-based attachment: attachment to me, mine, more, an eye for an eye, fossil fuel use, toxic manufacturing practices, compulsive consumption, torture of any kind of all soft bodies everywhere.

Our sweet oasis in space, our Earth, is showing symptoms of The Wasteland of myth. The faulty belief system of egoic self-interest is the dolorous blow to our collective energetic vibrations and our life habits. This egoic self-interest that sets our species as more important and our wants as more valuable than Nature’s exquisite life harmonies out-pictures in tragic proportions as the toxic wasteland of our times.

In The Grail Cycle of stories, finding The Holy Grail brings healing to The Dolorous Blow, The Fisher King, and the land.

The Holy Grail can be seen as a symbol for the energetic frequency of healing, harmony, and happiness. The Grail lives in the heart of The Fisher King’s castle.

Our collective gorgeous perilous mission calls upon each of us to see our own dolorous blow as the opportunity to seek the grail of the heart, drink the elixir of a new vision, and tell the liberating tale of a new guiding story into our lives. Awakening heart energy gets us unhooked from fear and unleashes our fearless awesome courage into vibrant vibrational change practices.

A change of heart changes everything. The time is now. The time is only ever NOW.

GETTING UNHOOKED

When it comes to a moment of fear, discernment is key.

Is this a real outer threat—a real tidal wave rolling a one hundred foot high and who knows how wide wall of water at your shoreline? Or is this an inner tidal wave, the old wound activated by a perceived threat like criticism, sarcasm, psychological intimidation? Is The Dolorous Blow memory all up in your face? Knowing when to run, when to ride, when to stand, when to hide is key.

Running from a tidal wave is always a good plan. Running, hiding, arguing, attacking the inner wave, such as fear of criticism; or doing the same with its momentary outer source, such as a nasty boss or neighbour, is ultimately counterproductive. Those actions keep the dolorous blow levelled again at your psychospiritual wholeness and limit your radiant attraction action. You just end up compelling the same-old-same-old to arrive.

In Dr. Strange, The Ancient One says: We do not lose our pain; we learn to live above it. We must do the same with fear. We must get ourselves unhooked so we can act with a slick and sensible sanity toward the old conditioned culprit of attachment.

Awareness of triggers and reactivity is the key.

Bringing self-awareness practices into your life helps you stand up in your fear and make fear your ally.

Try meditation, tapping, journalling, yoga, mantra. Try archery, drawing, bonsai, flower arranging.

Finding human guides who walk the path of liberating awareness as a life practice can help you redeem an old fear conditioning and learn better habits of responsive awareness to fear’s warning message. Find a life coach or counsellor or support group.

Fear doesn’t have to take you down. Fear doesn’t have to compromise your radiant attraction action. Fear can wake you up, stand you up, and fill you up with a powerful urgency to grow out of the cramp of conditioning and grow into your lucent and purposeful living flow.

When fear is an ally and not an enemy you have a helpful warning system that alerts you to real danger and to the hook of an old conditioned reactivity. Your gorgeous perilous mission is to discern between the two. Your gorgeous perilous mission is to act above fear, to act as if your life depended upon it, and to act as if death were no consequence.

 

 

Fear: Friend or Foe? Your Gorgeous Perilous Mission Blog Bite

When is fear a friend and when is fear a foe?

Part of your gorgeous perilous mission is to find out.

Almost everyone experiences physical, psychological, and spiritual dangers in this life. The smallest thing can be a mortal danger if we let fear take us down; the smallest threat can be crippling to body, mind, or spirit.

An angry fist in the face, a sarcasm dart to the heart, a tornado across the field, a bomb blowing up your car—these call up fear as an appropriate first reaction.

Fear is part of our evolutionary alert system. We’re designed to fight, flee, or freeze to protect this mortal coil from threats to life or wellbeing, or to protect what we love.

But fear doesn’t have to take you down. Fear doesn’t have to compromise your radiant attraction action. Fear can wake you up, stand you up, and fill you up with a powerful urgency to grow out of old conditioning and grow into your lucid and purposeful living flow now.

When fear is an ally and not an enemy you have a helpful warning system that alerts you to real danger and to the hook of an old conditioned reactivity. Your gorgeous perilous mission is to discern between the two. Your gorgeous perilous mission is to act above fear, to act as if your life depends upon that, and to act as if death were no consequence.

And the moment you begin; the moment you make that first inner decision to face the big calling of your life or the small calling of the day’s particulars, an unexpected ally arrives. Your fearless awesome courage arrives. It may be small, just enough to squeak you through to the next crack in the wall, the next helpful turn in the maze of confusion. And it may be the huge leap you need.

But big or small, you find you’re not alone. You find you’re equipped with the tools needed to accomplish the journey of the moment.

And big or small, when a gorgeous perilous mission allies with a fearless awesome courage you get a golden opportunity. And that’s the cosmic dynamo of attraction action dancing with your destiny.

…for the full version of this Livingflow Blog Bite, see

Your Gorgeous Perilous Mission Big Blog

 

Relaxed~Yoga’s Middle Way Between Limp & Rigid

In yoga, relaxed and rigid are not opposites. Limp and rigid are opposites. Relaxed is the middle way.

Relaxedness arises as the breath eases, the head clears, and the heart opens. Relaxedness is a result of discipline. Discipline is the way to liberation.

Dancers know that the dedicated practice of technique frees the body to leap as if gravity didn’t exist. A great pianist practices daily scales, knowing that years of repeating scales is the ground from which flights of improv soar.

If your body is limp or rigid, check your mental stance, check your feeling stance. The body is a reflection of thinking and feeling.

A rigid body reflects rigid thinking and rigid feeling, a stiffening of the authentic, fluid vitality of being into a very narrow artery of clog.

A limp body reflects limp thinking and limp feeling, a puddling of your authentic, vital, alive, and magnificently wild self into shapeless, shallow pools of blah.

The spacious silent abode of yoga mind liberates us from a rigid resistance or limp resignation to the frustrating finitudes of life. Relaxed is the transcendent third, the middle way, the balancing agent, the springboard into radiant possibility.

Relaxed synergizes the good fortitude of the rigid stance and the good softness of the limp stance into an energetic powerhouse of magnetized potential. Rigid becomes flexible with softness loosening it. Limp becomes resilience with fortitude strengthening it.

A daily practice in yoga mind enhances our energetic radiance and liberates us into the infinite potentialities of the relaxed, non-attached awareness.

The relaxed, non-attached awareness frees our wild potentialities into useable energy and useful attraction action that helps dreams come true.

 

Are You Hogtied To Habit?

Are you hogtied to habit?

When we’re not aware of where our attention is and what our intention is at any given moment, the cramp of conditioning is at large, in charge, and running the show.

The cramp of conditioning is a memory imprint, the stuff that happened, set into the subconscious by experience and consolidated by repetition. It runs on auto-pilot and usually keeps us small, playing safe–cramped. Left to its own devices, it’s repeating what it knows over and over. And what it knows is the same-old-same-old.

Have you ever paid attention to the images and thoughts your mind makes all day?

How many pictures a day do you make of angst and urgency or of desire and fulfillment? How many thoughts of despair and damnation or of hope and vision? Of rage and revenge or of serenity and wonderment? Of complaint and criticism or of compassion and co-operation? What’s your mental default mission?

Bringing attention to your habits of thought gives you the lead-in to change your cramp of conditioning.

It may take time and it will take dedicated repetition. But if you apply your attention to noticing the cramped conditioning, and if you set your intention to shift to more liberating thoughts and images, that old cramp will loosen and you will develop new, refreshing, healthy memory habits.

To untie those hogtied knots, try meditation, creative envisioning, tapping. Pay attention to your self-talk–how the voice in your head talks on its own–and build a devotion toward correcting any self-talk that holds you back, puts you down, keeps you small. Practice self-encouragement. Do things that stretch your comfort zone and things that make you feel good.

You’re worth the dedicated attention. And every little knot you untie liberates your greatness, one golden thread at a time.